Who told a Berlin audience in March 1912 that each country can absorb only a limited
number of Jews, if she doesn t want disorders in her stomach. Germany already has too many
No, not Adolf Hitler but Chaim Weizmann, later president of the World Zionist Organization
and later still the first president of the state of Israel.
And where might you find the following assertion, originally composed in 1917 but republished
as late as 1936: The Jew is a caricature of a normal, natural human being, both physically and
spiritually. As an individual in society he revolts and throws off the harness of social obligation,
knows no order nor discipline?
Not in Der StÃ¼rmer but in the organ of the Zionist youth organization, Hashomer Hatzair.
As the above quoted statement reveals, Zionism itself encouraged and exploited self-hatred in
the Diaspora. It started from the assumption that anti-Semitism was inevitable and even in a
sense justified so long as Jews were outside the land of Israel.
It is true that only an extreme lunatic fringe of Zionism went so far as to offer to join the war on
Germany s side in 1941, in the hope of establishing the historical Jewish state on a national
and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich. Unfortunately this was the
group which the present Prime Minister of Israel chose to join.
That fact gives an extra edge of topicality to what would in any case be a highly controversial
study of the Zionist record in the heyday of European fascism by Lenni Brenner, and American
Trotskyist writer who happens also to be Jewish. It is short (250 pages), crisp and carefully
documented. Mr Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with
anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler s; he is careful also to put on record the opposition to
such policies within the Zionist movement.
In retrospect these activities have been defended as a distasteful but necessary expedient to save
Jewish lives. But Brenner shows that most of the time this aim was secondary. The Zionist
leaders wanted to help young, skilled and able-bodied Jews to emigrate to Palestine. They were
never in the forefront of the struggle against fascism in Europe.
That in no way absolves the wartime Allies for their callous refusal to make any serious effort
to save European Jewry. As Brenner says, Britain must be condemned for abandoning the
Jews of Europe; but, it is not for the Zionists to do it.